Point Shooting 1: Introduction

In this series of post I will be talking about the dreaded Point Shooting debate. Some of the arguments are just semantics. Some are real differences of opinion about how a typical gunfight evolves. Some are the product of charlatans who are no better than snake oil salesmen.To avoid semantic problems let’s define the different types of common point shooting.They are but not limited to: Eye Index, Body Index and Retention Shooting.

Eye Index includes any type of aiming system that involves bringing the pistol up to eye level and in some way referencing the pistol to the target. Examples of these systems are the old-fashioned line up your front and back sight before pressing. Threat focused where you point the pistol by placing the front sight or just looking at the back of the slide as though it is a big sight and press the trigger without taking your focus off the bad guy. Or as I advocate a flash front sight picture where you use a practiced index to place the front sight on the target, transfer your focus to the front sight and press the trigger.

Body Indexing is positioning the pistol using the angles of the body to reference the pistol to the target. Often this is keeping the pistol parallel to the ground and close the waist or hip before firing. Others subscribe to bringing the pistol to the mid line of the body at the waist to chin level while firing.

Retention shooting is placing the pistol close to the body to keep it away from a bad guy who is in arms reach of you. Used there when extending the pistol at arm’s length would essentially be placing the pistol with the reach of the bad guy. This would allow the bad guy to take the pistol or divert your aim from hitting him with any bullets.

Retention shooting looks a lot like Body Index point shooting. You often can avoid this type of shooting by moving while drawing the pistol or moving while extending the pistol to the line of sight. When a person cannot extend the pistol safely they will have to shoot in the retention position. Don’t confuse this with Body Index point shooting. I will explain why later in this series of posts.


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